Sunday, April 27, 2014

A day of rest, cats and spiders ...

Caron and I slept pretty well last night but the same could not be said for the van der Riets who attracted the attentions of some Mediterranean mosquitoes.  We didn't have a single one but they seem to have had a bit of a plague.  The plan for the morning was to ride up to Lefkos and an ancient quarry and what greeted me when I opened the front door was as below; low hanging rain clouds but we  decided to chance it anyway before we had to return the mopeds at 10:30.

 The trip up was quite quick and surprisingly cool and I was expecting a few moans from the girls about their hands being too cold but there wasn't a peep from them.  After a brief detour into an actual modern working quarry we found the ancient one and walked around a bit trying to work out how it actually functioned.  Our guesswork was put to rest at the end of the tour by a very friendly Greek sort of curator who showed us a model of how the marble was mined.  They would use cold chisels to score a line and then at intervals gouge out deep notches into which they could insert wooden wedges which, once watered, would expand and crack the marble along the line.  Quite a painstaking process and once they had minded a slab, they would put it in a sort of wooden sledge to be hauled up a smooth slope using a windlass type contraption from the top.  Pretty ingenious but it must have been very hard work.

The three 'hogettes' in front of a marble retaining wall; it is pretty hard to think of marble being used as a retaining wall in S.A.   Once we had finished at the quarry we continued over to Lefkes and stopped at some huge and ancient olive trees which I had spotted yesterday but we didn't have an opportunity to stop yesterday.

What you can't see in the photo below is the large spider to Megans right and the one just above her left ear.

   The one on the right we had seen and Megan carefully maneuvered here way into the bowl of the tree without disturbing the spider for the photo's but when she came out she tried to jump over the strands and her head when right through the we we hadn't seen and then there was furious action as spiders and Megan all took flight; accompanied by the appropriate squeals from Megan as she tried to get rid of the spiders web attached to her head.

It may not be the most interesting photograph but I found the whorls fascinating.  From there it was on to Lefkes where we hoped to get some coffee but the shop was closed.  When we had driven in we had seen someone with fresh bread so we went in search of the bakery which turned out to be tiny and we bought some still warm sugar encrusted donuts there.

 Wandering around Lefkes munching our donuts was a real highlight for me, lots and lots of alleys and a new view around every corner whether it is a courtyard with tables  in it or a tiny balcony with room for only a single chair and small table.  It was gorgeous and because it was on a steep hill we had the views of the surrounding farmlands as a backdrop.

Aside from the scenic aspects they must have the friendliest cats in the world; one ginger one literally ran up to get scratches and then started purring very loudly and at one stage while I was sitting down had his front paws on my leg, his back paws on the other seat and was getting scratches from both Kirsten and myself and was drooling away.  Even when we left the cat followed us to the edge of its territory before giving up on the attention.

As we left Lefkes I noticed that my fuel gauge was blinking to indicate very low fuel so I was holding out that it would make it back to Naoussa 30 minutes away.  In spite of that it didn't stop me from making some time to take some photographs of one of the many, many churches that dot the landscape and with the dark rainclouds in the background it was very dramatic. 

Having made it back without running out of petrol, the rest of the day was spent just lazing around and reading until we went into Naoussa centre for some souvlaki and icecream for supper and as a treat we had deep fried dough balls like mini vetkoeks smothered in brown and white chocolate.  An excellent supper indeed.  When everyone else went off to bed Carl and I stayed up, having a cigar and some excelled whisky on the verandah and read our books and looked at the night sky view over the bay every now and then.  What a way to end the day!

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